Architecture

L'Arbre Blanc apartments tower over a French river like a giant white pinecone

L'Arbre Blanc apartments tower...
Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
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The exterior of L'Arbre Blanc is featured with irregular balconies intended to represent part of a tree
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The exterior of L'Arbre Blanc is featured with irregular balconies intended to represent part of a tree
L'Arbre Blanc is the handiwork an international team of architects including Nicolas Laisne Architectes, OXO Architects and Japan’s Sou Fujimoto Architects
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L'Arbre Blanc is the handiwork an international team of architects including Nicolas Laisne Architectes, OXO Architects and Japan’s Sou Fujimoto Architects
Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
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Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
The L'Arbre Blanc tower is intended as a homage to the Montpellier tradition of “living outside”
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The L'Arbre Blanc tower is intended as a homage to the Montpellier tradition of “living outside”
The L'Arbre Blanc site incorporates an extension of an adjacent park and sits at the intersection of the Lez river, a pedestrian and cycling path and the old and new sections of the city
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The L'Arbre Blanc site incorporates an extension of an adjacent park and sits at the intersection of the Lez river, a pedestrian and cycling path and the old and new sections of the city
Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
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Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
Fifteen of the L'Arbre Blanc’s 17 stories are dedicated to apartments, which number 110 in all
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Fifteen of the L'Arbre Blanc’s 17 stories are dedicated to apartments, which number 110 in all
The L'Arbre Blanc towers 17 stories over its surroundings in Montpellier
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The L'Arbre Blanc towers 17 stories over its surroundings in Montpellier
The Lez river in Montpellier has welcomed a striking new structure to its shores
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The Lez river in Montpellier has welcomed a striking new structure to its shores
Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
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Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
View gallery - 10 images

The Lez river in Montpellier has welcomed a striking new structure to its shores. The L'Arbre Blanc towers 17 stories over its surroundings in the southern French city, offering an abundance of apartment space on the inside and some particularly eye-catching features on the outside.

L'Arbre Blanc is the handiwork of an international team of architects including Nicolas Laisne Architectes, OXO Architects and Japan's Sou Fujimoto Architects. Those familiar with the lattermost's body of work may see a resemblance to an earlier design for a cluster of timber towers in Bordeaux, which also featured irregular balconies lining the outside.

The L'Arbre Blanc tower is intended as a homage to the Montpellier tradition of “living outside”
The L'Arbre Blanc tower is intended as a homage to the Montpellier tradition of “living outside”

That tower never quite got off the ground, making the L'Arbre Blanc Sou Fujimoto's first project in France. The rounded tower is inspired by its namesake – L'Arbre Blanc is French for "white tree" – with cantilevered balconies jutting out like branches and leaves. If you ask us it is more pinecone than tree, but hey, who are we to split hairs when it comes to trees and their woody organs.

Fifteen of the L'Arbre Blanc's 17 stories are dedicated to apartments, which number 110 in all. The bottom levels are home to a restaurant, art gallery and office spaces, while the top level hosts common space and a panoramic bar, which is open to not just the building's residents but the general public.

Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May
Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May

The tower is intended as a homage to the Montpellier tradition of "living outside." To that end, the site also incorporates an extension of an adjacent park and sits at the intersection of the Lez river, a pedestrian and cycling path and the old and new sections of the city.

Construction of L'Arbre Blanc was completed in May.

Sources: L'Arbre Blanc, OXO Architects, Nicolas Laisne Architectes

View gallery - 10 images
4 comments
piperTom
It's good to see some architects paying attention to the people who use the building as opposed to outside viewers.
GregVoevodsky
It's sad to see some architects paying attention to the people who use this ugly building as opposed to a beautiful design that benefits both residents and neighbors.
Elizane09
This is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. They should put a sign out front that says "Under Construction".
Imran Sheikh
Just love the design, wish designers to try such creative complex constructions more often.